Songstress | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:34 AM, March 13, 2021


I am a songstress with

a bemused violin by my side.

A tightly knit sweater, I wear 

as a drape, to hide the body 

that bears the weight of 


On a chilly night, in a hotel room

Pensive, I look at my notes from 

the past.

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Notes that have emerged from the

shame of a cracked voice,

the notes that have spilled as 

I coughed out a little blood.

My violin, I have carried my voice with it

through the shrubs of suburbs, where the

prickly leaves scratched my ears.

Out of tune I went, and the sober village took its turn, 

the rustling leaves on the narrow roads

Only spoke in an unheard metronome,

As I walked among sheets of unfinished 


Down the aisle I went too, with Peter pan.

He never grew up, so we settled in 

an immature city, which we didn't know 

how to take care of. 

I took the liberty of walking out of that home.

I took the liberty of sharing a tune, 

With a pedestrian or two.

The coins flew into my hat, 

And I sat with a violin's numbing laughter 

by my side, 

As a night owl, a nocturnal poet

A warbling bird, 

recycling sheets of unwritten music.

I don't know when my notes found home 

in hotel rooms.

I don't know when my violin, had been left stranded

among some ' Do not Disturb' signs,

dangling from the door.

I am a songstress, with a bemused violin

by my side.

I am a songstress, writing my last letter to 

my voice.

Protiti Rasnaha Kamal's writings have been published in The Daily Star, Daily Observer, Dhaka Tribune and The Bombay Review. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, USA.

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